470: Past Twelve: Aspergers

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I have to say that twelve was rather easy. I was still very much a child, almost fairy-like, or elven, always into innocent mischief and adventure.

The turmoil hit at the age of thirteen. That is when my hormones shifted and life suddenly became bleak, overwhelming and unmanageable. I discovered a new form of escapism then, a more ‘difficult’ escapism than before; I became more observant of myself and actions, understanding complexities in a new degree that felt unfamiliar and frightening. Before, I would leap into my imagination quite naturally and without pretense. Now, it seemed as if I escaped to get away from some pending danger.

Wherein my world once felt light and airy, full of possibility, and all things magical and hopeful, it now felt dark, dingy and doom-filled.

I didn’t have an active social life for most of my teen years, choosing instead one girlfriend to hang out with and one boyfriend to adore. I had the same best friend from seventh grade until I graduated high school. I never thought to have many friends. I hung out with her, copied her, adopted her taste in music and clothes. I think because I was pretty (but didn’t know it), I easily found boyfriends. I tended to stick with one boy as long as I could or until circumstances forced a breakup. I too, copied what I thought he liked. I tried to appease. But with young men, I found myself continually lost and alone with a separation between us I could not understand or explain. While having a significant other brought me this sense of being less fearful in public and the ability to go out and do more, the relationship also brought me this deep seeded feeling of being complicated, misunderstood, too emotional, and never kind enough.

I could write a full book on the challenges of my teenage years. Here I have attempted to summarize some of the key points:

1. Suffering with feelings of extreme isolation and oddness, but not being able to understand or articulate why I felt this way.

2. Wanting to be like my peers but not wanting to be like my peers. Recognizing their character traits disturbed me, particularly manipulation, game-playing, deceit, cliques (groups of children that didn’t allow other children into the group), lying, cruelty, pretending and gossip.

3. Not knowing why, for most of my childhood, despite circumstances, I had felt happy and content, and that now all of a sudden I felt a deep sadness and a disconnection from the rest of the world.

4. Developing an over-analytical sense of self that encompassed all areas, including how I looked, how I moved, how I spoke and even how I thought and reasoned.

5. Developing a hyper-critical awareness of my appearance, wherein before I could care less. It was an extreme shift from being comfortable in my skin to wanting to change who I was. Along with this intensity of dislike towards my own image, I also did not recognize my own face in the mirror. I had no idea the size of my eyes, my face, my nose, or lips. Nothing seemed distinguishable, and every time I looked in the mirror the image seemed unfamiliar. I consciously did not realize this was happening. I did not understand why I looked at my image so much and analyzed it. I thought I was vain and self-centered, even as I hated how I appeared and assumed no one liked my looks.

6. It did not matter how many times someone told me I was beautiful on the outside, I couldn’t see it, and didn’t believe it. I twisted compliments in my mind. I took a sincere compliment about my appearance and truly believed that the observer was lying, blind, misinformed, tricking me or not educated.

7. I did not trust life. I began to see the unpredictable nature of adults and teenagers. No one around me changed, but suddenly an invisible barrier was lifted and I saw reality more clearly. I had seemed to be coated before, protected in some shield in which the world appeared wonderful and filled with love. I had trusted everyone and believed in everyone; yet now, I believed the world was a scary place, and thought that I had been born on the wrong planet.

8. I didn’t understand my own emotional intensity. I loved deeply. I longed. I was passionate. I was a poet. I was this exploding young woman filled with romantic intentions and the want to get married and have children. I didn’t have any interest in being a teenager. Some part of me wanted to skip from young childhood straight into adulthood. I saw young men as a means of escaping the destitute of reality. I jumped into a fantasy land of tomorrow, when I would be raising a family, and far beyond high school and all its pains.

9. I still trusted everyone. I trusted strangers. I trusted anyone who was an adult. I trusted children. I trusted my peers. I shared from the heart. I told my deepest secrets. I cried openly. And people did not respond in a manner that was beneficial to me. I was preyed upon in all ways: physically, emotionally, spiritually and logically. People could sense I was innocent, naive, and inexperienced. I was very much a victim without knowing I was a victim. I couldn’t tell right from wrong. Because I assumed everyone was good at heart, I assumed everything anyone did was ‘normal’ and ‘okay.’ I didn’t understand that concept of boundaries or self-protection. No one taught me. I didn’t know boundaries existed. I believed people.

10. Concepts that came naturally to other girls did not come naturally to me. I did not understand or follow fashion. I didn’t think to. It never crossed my mind to try to fit in and assimilate to the teenage world. I was still very much twelve inside, even as my body changed. I didn’t start dressing like my peers and learning how to apply makeup until I was ostracized, ridiculed, and singled-out.

11. I didn’t understand sexuality. I had a cute figure and was well-endowed. I did not understand how different ways I walked, sat, or bent over could be perceived as flirtatious and even labeled ‘slutty.’ I didn’t know that I had turned physically into a young woman who men found attractive. Even as they called out names at me, or shouted inappropriate comments about my body in the halls of high school, I didn’t connect the dots. I didn’t know what I had done. And in not knowing what I had done, I didn’t know how to make changes in an attempt to stop others’ behaviors.

12. I copied television and movie stars. I acted like my favorite stars. My role models were a brunette from Gilligan’s Island and a brunette from Charlie’s Angels. And I moved and acted like them, or some other dark-haired daytime soap opera actress. I didn’t know I did this, but I did it nonetheless. I needed a role model, and I found mine on television. Mimicking the traits of sensual and sexual adult females did not add to my ability to fit in; my actions instead served to highlight my inadequacies and oddities. I did things halfway, some very awkward child trying to catch up to her peers and changing body, and not knowing how to even begin, and not recognizing that her subconscious chosen methods were damaging her chances of fitting in further.

13. I didn’t understand my bodily changes and the monthly menstrual cycle. The change had been explained to me in various classes at school, briefly by a parent, and in review of some books, but that information was not enough. I think, in retrospect, I had needed someone to walk me through the process daily for the first year. To explain and reexplain, to reassure me I wasn’t dying or sick, to comfort me when the new and unfamiliar body pains and sensations came, to give me more advanced biological descriptions of what was happening to me. I didn’t do well with change. Change scared me. And here, my entire body was not my body anymore. It was terrifying. I didn’t understand the entire concepts of sex, of the ways I might get pregnant or how to tell if what my peers said was truth or lies. I didn’t understand how things worked.

14. I didn’t understand the concept of holding back. I said things like I saw them and felt them; that is until I was so shamed in school, I clamped up and hid in the corner writing song lyrics in pencil all over my desktop. I didn’t understand social rules and social games. I came across as overzealous, as immature, as goofy, giddy, and somewhat of a ditz. I didn’t understand most jokes. I laughed a lot, out of embarrassment or discomfort. I developed a nervous giggle. I seemed fake to other people, when ironically I was truly myself. People questioned me, especially my facial expressions and body language, and worse they criticized me. If I walked with my head down, with my eyes glued to the floor, my peers claimed I was rude and stuck up, too good for them. If I smiled, I was a flirt. If I avoided eye contact, I was showing disrespect or further showing I thought I was hot stuff and ‘all that.’ I didn’t know how to be. I wasn’t given the tools or the freedom. Everything I did was judged or deemed wrong. I quickly began to surmise the world was a terrible place in which no one was allowed to be herself. And then I concluded I didn’t even know who my self was.

15. I cried a lot. I isolated myself a lot. All the traits of Aspergers were triggered as puberty hit. I was overwhelmed with entirely too much for any child. Not only was my home life unpredictable and chaotic, not only was my body changing, my peers suddenly my enemies, but my own mind was turning against me. I couldn’t tell who I was, what I wanted, and had no idea where to go for help. When I tried to tell adults I was afraid to live, they claimed I was seeking attention, that I was fine, or that I was creating drama. When I went crying to the school counselor, he told me plainly that I was a beautiful attractive and intelligent young lady. And questioned what I could possibly have to complain about. I was attacked on all fronts. No one believed me when I said I felt different and alone. No one believed the deep pain and shattering of my life I was undergoing. I became suicidal, never able to go through with any attempts, but always wondering how it would feel to escape this life. I became more and more of a recluse and found small ways to make my life more manageable. I ate the same lunch every day. I kept the same routine. I knew what path to walk in the halls at school. I knew how to hide. I learned how to pretend to be someone else in mannerisms, dress and behavior. I became that which was nothing but a ghost of me, and I lived that way for most of my days.

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Everyday Aspergers the book available in 2016. Join our Facebook Clan or follow the blog for newest information on book release, including contests and give aways. 🙂 ~ Sam

poetry from my teenage years

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424: To the Girl in the Altered State

To the girl in the altered state

Every once in a while, about six to ten times a month, I enter an altered state in which I cannot recognize or reason with myself. Mostly this happens during the week before my menstrual cycle, but also occurs sporadically throughout the span of a moon-cycle. I am not separate or without consciousness of experience during this altered time, but I am definitely separated from a healthy self-image and from a sense of hope. Partially, this state of being can be explained through the symptoms of PMDD and/or severe PMS. Partially, this altered mood state can be explained through environmental influences, such as exposure to people, foods, weather fluctuations, and events. Causes of the root of these states can also be found through the intake of others’ words, actions, body language, moods and emotions. These altered states are intensified, if not jump-started, by the complexities of my thoughts, including my innate ability to scaffold one thought upon the other, and then root my ideas through advance complexities of processing equivalent in design to a skyscraper building upward and outward with exploding and expanding firework-like threads.

Inside my mind is a jumble of ideas edging their way through to exactness and refinement, entering a filter of dissection and biopsy, spit out into a conveyer belt which feeds each piece with microscopic filaments of possibility. As my mind functions much like a separate entity of its own, I get carried away in the potential outcomes, swept into immensely thick images and awakening, I can both feel, create, and to some degree control.

Here is the only place I find a semblance of control, and because I can find this peace, this place of no unexpected upset, but instead a returning again and again to the matter at hand–this machine of causation digesting and reproducing with each throb of my heart—I can remain here unaware of the happenings around me, the things occurring outside of my own thinking.

This serves me well, my thinking-machine, in times of deadlines, needed production, problem solving and sorting. I have the capacity to debate both sides of an argument with ease, essentially seeing with expansive foresight the end-trail of either avenue taken. Whether I be supporting myself or another’s endeavors, I am more likely than not to typically find beneficial solutions and make beneficial progress with any given task. I am able to mass-produce with focused concentration and powerful self-drive. Nothing is forced, induced or made to happen; the output of self happens instinctually and naturally, the process akin to the effortlessness in which a flower unfolds. I am neither under pressure or in a state of panic. More so I find myself in a blissful alleyway of escape with my troubles blocked out on one side and my worries blocked out on the other. I have managed, through simply being, to slip past both the mundaneness and challenges of life, and bask in an inner-state of creation. Here, in this creation state I am blissfully working. Pouring out information in graphic and written form, both in hardcopy and in my mind. What I see is transmitted and then drafted. Draft upon draft is reassembled and reconstructed, both internally and externally. I am me, yet I am not, producing with an extremeness I am familiar with, a rush of production that seems to resemble an urgency and need, though, to the creator resembles a necessity of action—something one was born to do and must do to survive.

Given a subject, I can learn mass amounts of information in a short amount of time, not because I am told to or want to, but because I am internally driven to completely fill the vacant spaces in my mind with input. I am taking in what I crave, as if the newness was the exact food I needed. I have nothing to prove to anyone. And thoughts of improvement of self spurs feelings of the potentiality for pride. This pride feels like poison to me, indigestible and damaging to the whole of self. I create with passion and fever, but not for the reasons others might suspect. And the suspicion, the judgment, the expectations of onlookers, is the first part that disturbs what I take in. The latter part which causes disruption being the layers of guilt I wade through for being what I am in the way I delve into the alley of reprieve. Together, the meanderings of thoughts, including the knowingness of what I am and who I am (in the way I deviate from the world-proclaimed norm), the indigestible thoughts of feasibly self-filling through prideful ways, the known ways in which I appear to others through my behavior, and the guilt which soaks through, leaves me in a split state—one in which I am in the alley of reprieve but pushing back a self-punishing voice that regurgitates what I have been shown and told through experience and exposure of normalcy.

It is the processing and creation that occurs within me that both feeds me and causes the worst agony. Yet I can discard of the self-defeating thoughts most of the time, except the handful of times in which I am in an altered state and feeling low self-worth, as previously mentioned above.

During these moments, which I have called altered states, when I am emotionally at my end, sad and what could be labeled ‘depressed,’ I am tested by my own thoughts and circumstances, inventing ways to end my agony, and undoubtedly coming up empty with possible recourse and explanation. My mind takes off again, as if bound to creation with engines revved. Only this time I am digesting bits and pieces that don’t make sense and leave me suffering. I am stuck on the loop, a conveyor belt that keeps recirculating with the same information over and over. I keep misfiring inside, keep trying to solve the unsolvable, and inevitably end up disappointed and forlorn.

I can step back while in this state and feel myself adrift, unable to help or pull myself outside of a surrounding feeling of doom. Not one to dismiss possibilities or explanation, not setting aside feasible reasons, I keep forming hypothesis and testing theories through personal trial and error, digging myself deeper into confusion and darkness. The only way out is to sleep, to process verbally with another, to create through writing or art, or to cry. When I am on overload, having reinvented the same scenes again and again, dizzy and upset by my own making, I might have a panic attack.

During these times of reconstructing the same thoughts over and over, I cling to my greatest fear of the moment. For me this is usually attached to abandonment, sickness and death. I see these fears in full picture, too. And having died a thousand ways through various ailments or found myself worthless in forever isolation by all I love, I become exhausted. In theory, I suppose, I climb into a storybook of sorts, living out alternate lives again and again, wherein I am not the heroine but the doomed sufferer. If not a storybook than a vivid horror film in which the characters all dissolve and I am left alone in a sucking suffocating darkness that breathes me into a state of hopelessness. Because my mind is the way it is, for whatever cause or reason, the very tool that creates masterpieces is the same tool that creates my demise. In this way, the same control I lack in being swept into the alley of reprieve is the same tool I lack that keeps me from being sucked into crushing isolation.

Having tried various measures to offset these altered-states, I have found that some things can make a difference. But usually these measures are unexpected, unpredictable, and cannot be created through planning or intervention. The only thing that stops my altered-states is the unexpected. A few ways I am pulled out might include circumstances such as a joyful surprise, a state of urgency in which I need to help another or solve a pending challenge or expected occurrences such as a good friend visiting from out of town or a celebrated accomplishment.

Time and time again I have wished I had a letter to read to myself during this altered state. Ideally, I would benefit from videotaping myself reminding myself I will be okay because during the dark hours it seems nothing will ever stop the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.

Dear Girl in the Altered-State,

You are here again, and you knew you would be; even though you think this is a new thing, it’s not! I know this time you think this is it, the end, the worst, the real test you will fail, the trial that will end you. Again, it’s not. You are fine. You are momentarily lost in a loop like a time traveler who has lost her way. The key word to remember is ‘momentarily.’

‘This too will pass. This too will pass.’ You aren’t going anywhere. You aren’t checking out. You aren’t crazy, and you are certainly not dying. No more than anyone else on earth, anyhow. You are a mortal and a human being and you are affected by so much in this world. You take in mass amounts of information, much of what you can’t even recognize until it is spewed out the other side through you, like some salmon flying upstream and landing on shore.

You are enough. I know you think you are not. But you are. You are pretty and smart and lovely. You are sweet and kind and caring. I know you think you aren’t good enough, no matter how hard you try and that you aren’t worthy. But you are.

In a few days you will be smiling again and loving life. Here are some important things to remember. The rest let go. All of it. I mean it. Let go of the worry, fret, regret, upset, and all that makes you mourn. Cry if you need to but don’t hold it in, and follow this list like a trail of breadcrumbs that will bring you home.

I love you. I love you so very much. You are brave and my princess, and you are never alone. You will lose your faith during this time, but the angels are still here. You will lose yourself, but you are still here. You will question everything and everyone, and not believe a positive word out of anyone’s mouth, including mine, but that is okay.

Still with all of this said, you will think this is it, the very last straw, the end of it all and the beginning of everlasting suffering. That’s bull. It really is. It’s a dark voice invented in some alley way in your mind. We don’t know why it happens, but it does. Probably a side effect of all your processing, like the sludge overspill form a well-greased engine. That’s all this is: an end result of your mind at work.

Don’t trust the negative messages and don’t make any decisions. And believe in us, in you, and finding your way back. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to fix yourself. You are perfect. And you don’t have to search for a way out. It will just come. The custodian is in there right now cleaning up the gunk with a mop. Just wait. That’s all. It’s okay if you are impatient and you don’t believe me. All is okay. I know that anything on this list will take all of your energy, but doing just one will help you. Remember I am here waiting, and you will come out of this altered state soon. For now pamper yourself and know you are loved.

1. Shower or take a salt bath. You will instantly feel better
2. Walk and if you can’t walk then dance to music. Move. Just move.
3. Accomplish one small task, like emptying the dishwasher, one little thing will show you that you are okay and capable of productive activity.
4. Create through your sorrow: dance, paint, draw, write, or do something that spills the emotions out of you into reality.
5. Process aloud with loved ones how you feel.
6. Treat yourself to food, you will be starved during this time, and that is okay. In a few days, once rebalanced, your healthy eating habits return.
7. Avoid the mirror and taking photos of yourself. How you view you is not reality. You are creating flaws and negative messages when you see yourself.
8. Go outdoors. Even if for a moment. Let your feet touch the earth.
9. Get in contact with nature, feed the wild crow or pet your crow, stare at the water, breathe in the air, soak in the green of your surroundings. Don’t hide out in your house, you will suffocate.
10. Allow yourself times of no production. Just be. And don’t analyze. If you need to listen to the same song over and over do it. If you need to watch a movie over and over, do it. Don’t judge yourself, your actions, or what you are doing. You are enough, and it is okay to rejuvenate.
11. Avoid triggers that increase anxiety including gluten products, coffee, and exposing yourself to people that drain your energy.
12. It’s okay to say no.
13. It’s okay to let go of your responsibilities, slow down, and take care of yourself.
14. It’s okay to cry and to be afraid.
15. Don’t try to solve, fix, or understand what is happening. It is out of your control and that is okay.

I love you, my precious one.
You are enough.

420: 10 Things Not to Say or Do When I am Sad

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10 Things Not to Say or Do When I am Sad

1. Don’t ask me to explain or reason my way out. When I am sad I have already evaluated everything ‘to death.’ I have looked at the pros and cons of my own life and my own suffering. I am no dummy. In fact, part of the problem I am so sad, is because I am so dang smart. I am my worst criticizer and have evaluated all the benefits of not being sad verses being happy a thousand times, and the worst part is that I cannot reason myself out of the sadness and feel happy.

2. Don’t tell me I need a pharmaceutical drug. Chances are, I’ve done my research or tried the drug before. My body is so very sensitive that any chemicals I put into my body cause adverse reactions. I get the so called ‘side effects.’ I am that less than 1%. I am the canary in the coalmine. I am the one you read about that gets the suicidal thoughts from anti-depressants and the one that has bizarre things happening to her body when I ingest foreign substances. I am already affected by the environmental pollutants, the toxins in our water and food, the hormones injected into products, and the chemicals that seep out of most homes. Truth is, I likely would be far happier if I lived in a world that didn’t reek of destruction.

3. Don’t tell me you know the reason for my sadness. More than likely, if it’s not my PMS or PMDD, or the result of an auto-immune disorder, or a variant enzyme, an allergic reaction, a virus or illness, or something or another that is deficient or out of whack, perhaps in my intestines or stomach, then it is situational. And not just the typical situations, like a bad day at work or a letdown. I have learned not to let ‘bad’ days affect me. I have ‘bad’ moments, each and every hour, I have ‘bad’ moments, and I choose to spend my day grasping onto the light and the goodness of the day. Only sometimes, I get tired of reaching and trying. My life is a struggle to fit in, to appear ‘normal,’ to follow the ‘rules,’ to even understand the ‘rules.’ I am exhausted. I am a warrior who wakes up every day with the past day erased, all the previous trials conquered gone, all the accomplishes vanished, and I have to start from square one to try to make sense of a world in which I do not feel I belong.

4. Don’t give me advice. You have no advice I have not heard, read, seen, felt, or experienced. One way or another I have studied what you will say. I have studied emotions and reactions in films, in music, in literature, even in nonsensical jokes and in animal behavior. I understand emotions and I understand my sadness. I read to understand myself and I even study you to understand myself. I know more than you think. I may not know the root cause, but I know that there isn’t an answer you have that I don’t have within myself. Your suggestions of correct verbiage, positive thoughts, rest, fresh air, exercise, meditation, visualization, diet, supplements, and the lot, do nothing more than boggle my brain and make me think you care more about your role as a want-to-be helper than you do about my pain. I can’t be the object of your fixing. I don’t want to be and refuse to take on that role. I am not less than you in my sadness and you do not have the secret key I need. I did not express I was sad because I look to you for answers. I told you of my sorrow because I just long to feel less alone.

5. Don’t tell me what I have to be grateful for. Don’t suggest I make a list. That is crap. To me I am grateful for the tiniest of thoughts, gifts, and actions that most people take advantage of. The near site of the dew of the grass, the soft smell of the fire-painted lily, the brilliance of a child’s laugh, the comfort of my favorite blanket, or favorite song..all these lift me. So much of the world lifts me. Many moments I travel in a world so extraordinary and filled with magic that I thank life for just my essence, to just to be in the midst of such glory. My list of gratefulness is not divided by good things or bad things. I stopped judging the right from wrong, and the just from the unjust, a long time ago. I live in the space in between the extremes of yes and no, and laugh at the ones who think their view is the only view. I can’t see making a list of all that is good without classifying at the same time in invisible ink what is bad, or worse, what others are lacking. I am no less and no more grateful than the homeless man on the street. If he is happy, I am happy. If he is sad, I am sad. To even make a list seems to me pompous and unjust, to single out how lucky I am in such a world of misfortune makes no sense, unless I hold greed as a virtue. Unless I see myself as dutifully worthy based on my profiting and others’ lacking. Unless I single out what is entirely missing from another to satisfy my own growing need for satisfaction. And anything of material I would attempt to scribe as benefit, I would rather break apart into a thousand pieces and feed the world. I don’t believe I can classify what happens in my life as good, bad, tragic, ugly, or beautiful. I only know it happens, and is happening. And for what reason is still to be seen. I know to let go and let my higher source lead. But when I am very, very sad, sometimes I forget how to release; I forget how to let go of the clinging of suffering. I forget I am not alone onto myself.

6. Don’t tell me how wonderful I am. I know who I am. I know through and through. I know I am kind, gentle, sweet, generous, forgiving, genuine, giving, smart, keen, and many other positive attributes. I am not sad because I have lost sight of why I am enough. I know I am enough. I am sad because the world has lost sight of me. Because I long to reach out and connect but when I do, I often feel nothing reaching back. To touch another fully, is all I want. To touch in full extreme, without pretention, want, need, expectation, goal, or outcome. To just touch. I, as I wait in my own self-created exile, as I wait without the sense of feeling another, grow in sadness.

7. Don’t tell me ‘this too shall pass.’ I know the sayings and tons of other random words collected to form reprieve. I am an avid reader and collector of quotes. I am a philosopher, an artist, a creator. I have the heart of a lover, the mind of a composer, and the spirit of a warrior. I am brilliant in my creation, and I understand the ebbs and flows of life. I move like the sea with the moon. I move like the willow with the wind. I am affected by the give and take of the world, by nature, by weather, by other people, events, and tragedy. I dream things. I see things. I experience emotions in extremes, and sometimes cannot tell if I am carrying my own pain or the pain of another. People find me. I don’t know how, but they do. And I am a vessel of sorts, harboring the lonely through the storm. They crawl in with their tears and woes, and their aches leak through me, crushing me to the core. I know everything will pass. And I know still that life is a cycle, and like the seasons, my sorrow will come again. Do not attempt to help me to look forward to the end of my pain, help me to go through my pain.

8. Don’t criticize or mock me. I cannot help how I am. Do not call me ‘overboard,’ ‘too much,’ ‘too intense,’ or the like. I cannot help that I am the way I am. I can often control my behaviors and be the best person I can be, and I do this daily. But my emotions sometimes take over. I don’t know how or why, beyond conjecture, but they do. And the more I fight the wave of pain, the more the pain comes. Sometimes I need to submit. To be in the turmoil, so that the tunnel evaporates and the light comes again. I fret over the tiniest of perceived imperfections in the way I treat others. I judge myself for not being caring enough, attentive enough, or loving enough. I cannot lie without deep remorse. I cannot have enemies. I cannot even hate. I know not this emotion hate beyond the emotion of anger turned deep sadness. All is huge to me. There isn’t a small suffering. I hurt for the tiny spider as much as the buffalo. I long for the rescue of the persecuted innocent as much as the child without parent. I feel and take in such extreme happenings, and know not where to lay my burden down. Just as I spend all day, moment to moment, contemplating how to maneuver in a world that remains unfamiliar, I spend my inches of time trying to figure out how to again release my burden, where this time to bury my woe. Shall it be in words, in rhythm, in rhyme, in the deep wilderness real or the serenity of my imaginations? Will I get lost again in my escaping? Where shall I take this misery and when will I have my fill? Do not criticize me and do not tease me. Do not laugh or giggle your way into a stream of mockery aimed at me. I do not do what I do for attention or purpose. I do not do what I do because I want to. I do not do what I do because I am confused or made wrong. I am perfect in my being. I am just sad. I am sad. I am sad.

9. Don’t abandon me. Do not leave my side, if I need you there. Do not hang up the phone, if I am crying. Do not say you will return, and then not call. Don’t say something, and not mean it. Don’t lie to try to make me feel better. Tell me straight what you think. You covering up only makes things worse. The world is already unsafe with its lies and trickery. I need you to be safe. I need your word to be strong. I need your integrity, your honesty, your truth. I need you to be that light that I am, to prove to me again you are here and I am not alone. If you do this, if you are loyal and true, when my sadness goes, when it is lifted, I shall be at your side with the beauty I am, pleasing you in your times of suffering, and holding your hand in your deepest need.

10. Don’t perceive me as something I am not. Try not to label me. To find the answer that brings you closure. It is not my job in life to fit neatly in a box for your comfort. My moods are my moods, my pain, my pain. My emotion is not a reflection of you, nor a product of you, any more than my happiness. I don’t expect anything of you in your pain and sorrow, so please don’t expect anything of me. Don’t make me your martyr, your angel, or your giving-spirit. Don’t make me the melancholic one or the hopeless creature. I am what I am, and what you create of me is neither here nor there, no less truth than what I create. I need you to try to not see me through the eyes of fear, but through the eyes of love. To bathe me in acceptance and forgiveness. To love me enough in my completion that you in turn love yourself in completion. If you can do that, if you can look past my ‘flaws,’ past the definition and existence of ‘flaws,’ and see into my suffering the very spirit reborn into darkness, soon to be sprung into light, then I shall have hope. If I can see me as hope, I will be hope. If you can hold me as hope, I shall be the very essence that you perceive in your grasp. And we can meet there, in that space between the suffering and hope, and merge, per chance, in that shimmer of a second, as one.

392: Miracles in the Making! Aspergers anxiety gone.

Lately, for about fifteen days, I have been able to alleviate most of my fear about everyone and everything.

This is the first time in my life I remember feeling this way. I suppose as a young girl, I had many moments of carefree-wonderment; but since my teenage years I have been prone to bouts of depression and, to put it mildly, emotional suffering. I don’t know exactly what is different now except that spiritually I have accepted a part of myself that I previously pushed down.

I hesitate to say spirituality has been a fix, or an avenue of escape from the constant anxiety. However the past two weeks are a testimony that I have made changes. I definitely say for me that my relief seems to have come from Spirit. I like to call this the Holy Spirit, related to the holy trinity in the Catholic faith, and also related to a part of mysticism of the more ancient (previously buried and hidden) early Christian gospels. In addition, I feel a connection to the works of well-known ‘New Age’ authors such as Wayne Dyer, Ram Dass and Caroline Myss. I have studied some of the Catholic saints and am an avid reader of Buddhist texts, and incorporate many of the Buddhist spiritual practices. I have found some comfort in wisdom derived from aspects of the Kabbalah, Sufism, and A Course in Miracles. And I still cherish my Catholic Bible. You could say I’ve got my bases covered. All-in-all, I think this eclectic spiritual approach, which involves in-depth studies, concentration, and absorption, and at times variable periods of fixation, is what has given me a foundation in which to start to pull apart the continual pain and frustration I was feeling.

Through my readings and studies, prayer, writings, and faith in healing, I have been afforded the opportunity of visions and, in my opinion, remarkable realizations of self, Aspergers, and my spiritual life. If one ventures back through the past few posts, it is evident that some profound creation has been forged through me. My husband has noticed what he would call “astounding” and “mind-altering” changes in me.

What I am seeing in reflection is this:

I had a core base of fear built on a foundation of distrust of other people. I had to learn, above all, how to learn to love myself and to love other people unconditionally. This was a huge undertaking that involved processing through writing, prayer and exploration of emotions. I took a hard deep honest look at all aspects of myself that I could feasibly find, and used an audience of my husband and other people as a sounding board and spring-board for further discovery. I don’t think my healing would have advanced had I not held in my mind a potential audience to read my works and share in my journey. Journals and diaries never worked for me, as they were short-lasting special interests. Having an audience appealed to me because I could put on stage the part of me undergoing excavation and slip into a “role” or alternate “persona.”

This process of taking on a role is similar to the times I was an actress on a real stage or a cheerleader in high school, where I was able to exist and interact with others because I wasn’t me. Whoever I was inside (the real me), during this time, was lost. I know that now. Who I was at the core, behind all the personas and roles, got lost in the process of trying to conform.

I have a natural ability to step outside of myself and view self. I have found that several spiritual practices consider this an important step in self-discovery and spiritual growth. I naturally did this because I didn’t have a choice; but in doing so, in stepping back and observing this other me, the roles I took on, I had ample opportunity to find out how I moved in the world through observation of self. When I adapted this new role of “person healing self” to an audience, I was able to observe.

It seems for most of my life I had the “lost me” hidden and out of sight, the “role” me—which fluctuated, and then the “observer” me who stepped back and watched the transitions and progressions. Interestingly, the observer has never changed, the “role” me has always changed, and the real “me” has always hidden—until now.

In being filled with the Holy Spirit, (I can also see my experience easily transferable to the description of awakened, living in the now, etc. depending on someone’s comfort zone.), I have been able to reclaim the lost me. She has come out of hiding and replaced the “role” me. And the “role” me seems to have gone. Observer is still here to a heightened degree. Now I (the observer) am able to watch the “me” who was in hiding for decades and help her through aspects of life. Before the observer could not help me much because I always changed when taking on new roles: parts that were ever fleeting, unpredictable, and non-authentic. When I was in a role, I was not me. I thought I was me at times, but I always changed, lessened, increased, or vanished. I became a chameleon out of desperation and without choice. There was no willingness involved in changing roles; they just happened. And I didn’t know they had happened until they (the personas I had taken on) were leaving. For instance, I might take on the role of a college student or a spiritual teacher, and that would become my entire identity and focus. All would be centered about this new self, I finally believed I was.

This time is different. A new role hasn’t surfaced. I have resurfaced. I feel like I have reached back in time and reconnected with the little girl lost. And I love her. I adore her and want to share her with the world. I have relatively little to no fear introducing her to people, as she is me. At last I am me. This is huge in the dynamic-life-shifting sense.

I believe that I was only able to retrieve my little girl because I relived all she had suffered, gave it recognition, let her be seen, and then released her through the act of forgiveness.

I understood ultimately she was an innocent and pure one. All shame vanished and all blame. This came about after I spent months forgiving people in my life that I still felt any emotion beyond love for. These emotions usually were associated with fear—well always with fear, but they manifested as: grudges, blame, anger, anxiousness, disgust, and so on. I focused beneficial thoughts on the people I had made villains in my mind; I did this through visualizations, meditations, writing and prayer. I made myself forgive them over and over, until nothing remained, until I could think of them and see nothing but a person who had done an action that had affected me, but that I no longer held responsible for said action. I don’t know how I reached this point, but I did, and I know it took dedicated effort and heartfelt intention.

After my total clearing house of forgiveness occurred, more room inside of me was available for my healing, I suppose. Here is when something entered me, which seems to have been akin to dramatic self-love, self-respect, reassurance, and inner knowing. Also, I believe that Spirit began to take hold, as I was dedicated to prayer and never gave up hope.

Some of the dramatic changes (Miracles) in my life that have occurred:

Where I once lived my every day with constant thoughts of analysis and processing, especially loops of fixations (in the past usually associated with a love interest, friend, or an illness), now I have a profound silence in my mind.

My energy is not depleted in crowds. I no longer find myself preparing in fear to leave the house, but preparing in joy. I no longer feel the need to carry the rosary, stones, or protective spray with me. I have no need to protect myself from anything. I feel as if I radiate a goodness and wholeness, and I am confident in who I am and how I walk. While I might still have sensory-sensitivities to textures, sounds, and smells, I am less prone to let them bother me. I can talk myself through it or take simple protective measures without the panic or fear.

While I am in crowds or in any environment, I am no longer lost in thought. I am not analyzing and dissecting all I see and all I am taking in. I am just being. I am observing as the little girl like all is magic and beautiful again. I am joy-filled again and able to navigate the world with a fresh and innocent viewing, instead of a fear-based perspective.

When I am in conversation, I feel as if I am in a state of grace. I behold the person with a silence in my mind and when I respond I connect to spirit. If I feel a worry about what I said or how I said something, observer comes in and helps me clear the fear. I have no need for outcomes in conversation, for defense, to prove a point, to fix, or to prove anything. I just am with no intention but being. I don’t worry about what another is thinking about me.

I no longer categorize people and place them into boxes. Before in public, I was exhausted, as I took in everyone I saw and sectioned them into where I thought they belonged. In retrospect, I believe this behavior was a protective strategy stemmed from fear of being hurt, surprised, or attacked. I based this fear on past experiences of repeated rejection and repeated confusion. I had no idea how often and how much I did this. It was so much a natural part of living and my processing. And I cannot stress enough how tiring this was. Now when I am out in public I am reminding myself that my perception is flawed, that everything I know is not real, that all my past was preconditioned and programmed. Here I have had huge help by bringing up aspects of living in the now, being present and seeing life as an illusion. (I have done this by incorporating a combination of many spiritual truths). In living in the present moment, I don’t go into the past to describe what I am seeing or attempt to sort it out. This process of not sorting others began in me a couple of months ago. Everywhere I went I started redirecting my thoughts. If I saw, in example, a “heavy, rich, black woman,” I would tell myself this is all illusion. She is another living being of light and nothing more. I would then repeat something easy to my mind that didn’t hurt, as sometimes types of thinking hurt. I simply said: beautiful, beautiful, beautiful or love, love, love. I practiced this where ever I went. I still could see the person with labels but eventually the labels were replaced by silence. If the labels come now, observer steps in and gently removes them.

I was able to release judgment of people. For most of my life, I had honed in on others and used in combination an intuitive and logical ability to analyze people. This happened through non-verbal and verbal-cue, and what seemed to be the energy of the person. I had had a “seeing” ability since I was a young child. I realize now that this truly was not a gift, as it did me no good. In truth, it was a curse. Everywhere I went, inside of others, I saw fear, anger, spite, depression, insecurity, self-righteousness, deception, cockiness, rudeness, etc. Recently, through revelation and vision, and much spiritual readings, I realized I was choosing to see the negative of people. And just because I could, didn’t mean I had to. I prayed about wanting this released. I wanted to see the light in everyone, and nothing more. Within two days a miraculous thing happened. My ability to see what other people lacked was replaced with the ability to see immeasurable beauty. Why? Because I wished it so and sacrificed my fear-based need to feel “special.” This seems to have been an ego-based survival skill from the start; something I brought upon myself to navigate through a world of falsehoods, particularly in communication. I understand now that I saw myself as negative and wrong and flawed, and so I projected this onto other people. I was choosing always to see what I wanted to see, even though I thought I was detecting these hidden mysteries. This was a game I invented, at a very real and authentic level, thinking if I could figure people out I would stay “above” them and “better” than them, and avoid potential harm. The key was in loving myself and realizing no one’s words or energy can harm me. They just can’t. Once I accepted this, love became my new truth. For years I had been perpetually holding myself prisoner. I firmly believe this, and the miracles I have seen in the last couple of weeks are confirming that in the past I was choosing to see “non-beneficial” things. In choosing to see the good of people, more and more good is coming to me. By good I mean aspects of beauty and awareness, because ultimately in my belief system nothing is good or bad.

I am attracted to everyone. Before for much of my life I feared if I lost my husband, I would be alone and miserable for life. I was so picky about physical attributes and about personality that I doubted I would find anyone, if ever I found myself a widow. Morbid and fear-based thought indeed, but nonetheless true for me in the past. Now that I look upon others with the light of God, everyone looks feasibly possible for my husband or friend; not that I am heading out and collecting people or marrying, but I now know I am not alone, nor will I ever be alone, because I no longer have this narrow view of what beauty is. Everyone is beautiful. The benefit is a much more glorious world to look upon. The added bonus: an escape from self-created isolation.

I no longer see myself as separate. I seem to blend in with everyone else. I see their beauty reflected in me and my beauty reflected in them. I love them. I love people. And everyplace I go is like a parade of butterflies. I imagine this is how the world looks when one is still a young child, before the trust is lost and before the heart gets broken. In processing that my past is all falsehoods based on others’ views and perceptions and ideologies, presently I am able to understand that the world is a safe place. I was taught and shown the world was unsafe repeatedly. But the world is safe. If I choose to live with no fear, the world is very safe. And no amount of worry and anxiety and planning and reasoning is going to prepare me for all the imagined dangers. I don’t need to live my life as if danger is around every corner, because I recognize now that isn’t living.

I have been able to use the observer to comfort the child in me. Now the observer is my watcher. If I start to fear (the real me fears) then the observer steps in and reminds me that fear is false. With Spirit’s help I can recognize every emotion, beyond love, hope, faith, joy, praise (etc.), as a false entity spawned from fear. Fear has so many faces but I recognize him quickly. If I feel anger, resentment, urgency, anxiety, or anything that disrupts my peace, I say hello to fear. He has gotten to the point where he actually speaks and says, “Shucks. You caught me again.” Then I release him. And poof back to serenity. Most of my life I spent trying to categorize my feelings and figure out my feelings; I couldn’t hold onto joy or happiness and I couldn’t escape life-gripping anxiety. Now 90% or more of my day is spent in supreme joy and peace, a mellow-happiness that permeates my entire being with a sense of well-being, calm, and faith. Everything seems attainable and manageable. Anxiety is almost null, as it is nipped in the bud so readily after fear knocks on my door. I might have spurts of irritations, e.g, repeated noise bothers me, but I can step back and remove myself from the situation or ask others to stop. I allow myself some emotions, I am not a robot, but I quickly become the observer, recognizing all things that stem from fear immediately, and allowing them to materialize as long as need be.

I don’t judge myself. I let go of being my own judge. If an emotion comes, such as frustration, I am able to step back and watch and then let it go. I don’t then turn and scold myself, as that is pointless and stemmed from fear, too. I just chuckle. Indeed, I am so happy lately and in a state of calmness that this smile on my face is pretty much my face. I imagine I likely smile in my sleep, too.

My dreams at night have shifted. Gone are the nightmares. If I have a complex dream it is usually my subconscious working out something or another. I usually can pinpoint my dream directly to a spiritual transition or spiritual study. New to my dreams are me being an advocate, a strong protector of my own being, and authentic. I am me in my dreams, in whatever emotional state that needs exploring. Also, I have started to dream of actual spiritual lessons. For instance, if I pray to understand how to release pain, then I will actually be a student in class during my dreams learning techniques to release pain. This is happening over and over again. Also, I still have visions early in the morning, usually poetic spiritual prose that fills me with hope and peace. I am protected. I am no longer afraid of my dreams or the dark. I am excited to fall asleep and just as pleased to wake up.

I don’t have these rules and standards circulating in my mind. I don’t have anyone I am trying to please. I think because I now have a firm spiritual foundation, I now know what I am living for. Before, how I acted and how I chose to live, varied depending on who I was with and what I thought someone wanted. Now I live for the Holy Spirit. I make myself His servant and listen to His guidance. I don’t need manly rules anymore and rules no longer haunt me. They were too contradictory and confusing to begin with. Along with this, I don’t worry about what others think of me anymore. As long as I am pleasing God, I am good. Thankfully, my god has some pretty good rules in place already.

I don’t need to be special. The most remarkable thing happened to me. When I was “seeing” everyone else’s flaws; I realized I was attached to feeling “special.” When I recognized this, I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t resonate with the feeling of separateness, and felt sick, almost nauseated. I didn’t want to be special. I wanted to be a servant for Spirit, and recognized in making anyone “special,” including good friends or myself, I was separating people. If someone is special then someone else is less special. And making someone special at all, in my view, is a form of idolization: an attempt to find something in this world to bring relief to a feeling of incompletion. In embracing Spirit, I am complete. Friends now are frosting, not my need or want. I am loving them without expectation. That is true love. Another person will never meet expectations of “special”—never ever. They can’t. They aren’t perfect and they fail, if set up to be special. For the most part I have stopped viewing myself as special. Ego tries to sneak back in and make me think that if I am not special then I am nothing. But I know in releasing the need to be special or make someone else special, I become beyond special; I then become one with All. I become able to embrace Spirit fully and to not qualify and classify my love for anyone. I just love. And that’s enough.

I can only usually live for the moment. It hurts to think about the future, and seems a false illusion when I remember the past. The past and future seem impossible and infeasible at times. Silly stuff I used to worry about, like planning out the day or month, or even the next hour, seem pointless and physically painful. Remarkably, everything still gets done and on time without the stress or worry. Really. I seem to just gently release something, like a thought such as: “I need to call the dentist.” And the dentist calls me. I think of something quickly, and then release the thought not wanting to focus on anything that isn’t in the now; and then, somehow the now makes things turn out just fine. I can’t explain this, but in living in the now, I seem to hear things or see things before they happen. Like titles in a future newspaper or quotes someone else shares at a later time. I seem to be tapped into something that works much easier and smoother than worry. I didn’t make this practice happen; this was a miracle. I just woke up and was no longer able to obsess about the future or reflect on the past. Just wasn’t capable. Still am not, without extreme effort.

This might seem like a little thing, but I can watch a movie and only watch a movie. I am not dissecting the characters, ADHDing and drifting into another place, analyzing my thoughts, or thinking ahead or behind. I seem to be in the present enjoying the movie. And OH MY GOSH, it’s like so brilliant. This happens with performing arts and in parades too. I am so there, just there, and experiencing the brilliance of life.

Nature speaks to me. Everything seems thicker and richer. The colors, the clouds, the trees, the birds, all seem to have increased in magic. It’s lovely just to sit in the front yard in the sun and listen. I am serenaded in beauty. I am able to tap into the now whenever I find myself slipping out. I do this by focusing on a piece of nature and just fall into the beauty. I sometimes blur things together and take them from part back to whole. I don’t choose to believe all I have been taught about pieces and parts and labels, and try to take in the beauty like a child again. The world is so lovely. Before where I was lost in thought, now I am lost in the wonder of the world. A switch happened, and the capacity that helped me to go into complex thought now enables me to also go into complexities of nature.

The negative thoughts are replaced by my angels. When there isn’t silence or the observer stepping back and watching me, or me the taking in the now, I can hear my angels. They speak to me and guide me through the day. They answer questions and help me. Sometimes time seems to stop and I have amazing knowings spilled into me in a matter of minutes or seconds. I am able to remember these at a deep level.

I suppose I could go on and on. I have lost the want or need to verbally process aloud with other people, including my husband and friends. There isn’t anything I feel like talking about beyond God and ideas and love and visions. I don’t feel a need or want to spill or share my life, beyond wanting to help others through my own experience and example. I seem to have had my ability to process thoughts and ideas intensified, as if before I was a thin pipe of knowledge and now I am this thick pipe with a bunch of stuff gushing through and out. The difference is I don’t feel like I need to share, I want to share. It isn’t like before; it’s very much not. Still I have maintained the intense capacity to see complexity in thoughts, only it seems multiplied in scope. My memory has increased for numbers, names, and facts. My tolerance for food is better. And I don’t have this need for rigidness. I have no want to complain, at all. I don’t have a need to say something unless it feels from spirit or makes me profoundly happy. I find pleasure in simple things. Certain words are starting to feel unnecessary. It’s weird and crazy, my world right now, but so heavenly and freeing.

What I have experienced anyone can.

346: The Love I Am (A review of emotions, joy, fear, and pain)

I remember sitting on my bed in my early twenties and realizing with a sudden revelation that I did not know how to feel joy. In fact, in analysis, I concluded then that in the past several years I had not recognized many emotions. Generally I felt anxious, nervous, over-concerned, shy, out-of-place, insecure, depressed, sad, and worried. That was all I could feel. I could not feel anger. I could not feel love. My feelings for my significant other were all wrapped around fear of abandonment. I could feel fear.

I went from extreme emotional highs to extreme lows. I now believe this was not biologically induced. I think I made myself purposely cycle through thought-processes. If I was not extremely high (overly-anxious, overly-obsessed, overly-concerned), I was extremely low (unable to leave the house, fatigued, depressed). There wasn’t a manic high of joy, elation, grandiose thoughts, and magical-viewing of the environment and self. In the high-state there was only this inability to let go of fear, which led me to act out (OCD-like behavior, rituals, non-stop analysis) in order to eliminate thoughts. In the low-state there was the same inability to let go of fear, but my efforts to eliminate the thoughts were displayed through withdrawing, sleeping, and retreat.

I still go through these same states. Though I now know what the middle ground of emotions feels like. I think I “make” myself go through these states in an attempt to feel joy. I used to only feel joy when I was transitioning from one state (low) to the other (high). And even then, only for a fleeting moment.

In the past, and at this moment, I cannot experience this sensation of fleeting joy/happiness without the anxiety tagging along and questioning me, like some annoying tailgating friend I attempted to shake of millions of times before: “Are you sure you’re happy? Is this happiness? Will it last? How do you know it is happiness? Why are you happy? Are you being selfish? Is this self-based?”

My being seems incapable of holding onto this type of joy, and joy alone. This joy has to have companions of suspicion, dread, over-analysis, and such. And I utilize the word “have” because that is how the experience registers for me.

In the same line of thought, my extreme lows which include the inability to move, the discomfort of being me, and the fatigue of simply thinking, comes too with a posse of entities—emotions garbed as “why again,” “what is happening,” “why can’t I control my own self.”

This doesn’t feel like a mood disorder to me, though I see how my behaviors, and possibly thoughts, would present themselves as so. To me, this teeter-tottering is always pinpointed to an exact spot of awakening to the highest step of anxiety or lowest step of deep sorrow. I can find a reason. I can in retrospect see where I was switched from one extreme to the other.

Typically, I feel the mixture of joy and dread when I have 1) Accomplished a goal that I was afraid I would never accomplish; 2) Accomplished a goal in which I was fixated from the start and glad to be done; 3) Completed something I was dreading for days; 4) Received good news after worrying about bad news; 5) Received a compliment about my appearance, as I am insecure about the way I physically look.

In review, each of these supposed “joys” is accompanied by a fear or “negative aspect.” For example, in number one, “I was afraid,” and in number two “I was fixated.”

For a long time, this was the only way I could feel sporadic spurts of mixed joy: by attaching a fear or negative aspect, and then with some stimuli (another person, place, thing, event, words) the negative aspect is momentarily released and that moment of release feels to me akin to joy. For me, when the negative aspect I placed on self is temporarily removed, joy steps in.

In fact, in my mind, and in my scenario of feeling, I cannot feel this type of joy without first attaching an element of “negativity” and/or “fear.”

In contrast, in my moments of fear, in my low state, I have attached hope or the “best case scenario.” I create in my mind the release, the escape, or the rescue and I wait. I set myself in a cage, much akin to a prison, where I’ve locked myself away in darkness, and then wait. What I am waiting for is the removal of deep pain, and I have decided, somewhere deep in my mind or spirit that this removal will only happen in a specific way. For example, in sighting past experiences, this might be, this release of pain through the removal of a stimuli: an illness going away, a person coming and going, a meeting passing, a phone call received.

Here seems to be the tipping point, or the starting point of where my fleeting joy begins. While I sit readily in this cage of misery, I am creating the future of joy I hope to see. Whilst worrying immensely in a non-stoppable way and running through all the possibilities and strings of variable outcomes I can, I am in a direct way preparing to feel release and joy in the near future. This is to me, seemingly like a junkie in need of an adrenaline high. I am making myself increasingly low, so when the event or stimuli arises that apparently lifts me from outside of my self-inflicted prison, I am brought to a state of infinite fleeting freedom. In extreme emotion, I am brought high above myself and able to at last feel beyond suffering. I am creating my own high.

It is only in the in between state, between the middle part of prison and the freedom of elation that I feel the fleeting joy. I quickly rise past the joy to the state of high-anxiety, as the doubts and questioning sets in. This is why, after much processing about a possible scenario that could lead to my demise, failure, rejection or the lot, I will appear momentarily elated with relief when the scenario does not turn out in the thousand terrible ways I thought, but then I will quickly switch of the invented and created false feeling of joy and question my emotion. This will then put me in a state of shutdown, where I am wondering why I worried to the degree of physical and emotional, even spiritual ache, for the gift of fleeting fake joy brought on by a self-invented high.

Is this indeed a process I have created in an attempt to feel human? In an attempt to feel what “I am supposed to feel?” Am I lacking something or some chemical? I don’t think so.

I think this is the way my mind works itself out of confusion, in an attempt to unravel all the thoughts that are bombarding me, including all the stimuli, constant awareness, and confusion. I think this is my mind’s way of putting me into protection. I think in my cell of worry is the only time I feel safe from the world. To me, the fear-state is more liken to protection and safety than the joy state. For joy crashes and fear remains. Fear is predictable and stays with me as I loop and over-think; joy emerges as this falsehood and leaves me abandoned.

Do I like the cell perhaps more than I acknowledge? Is the cell the darkness I need to retreat to in order to renew? Am I, like the caterpillar, in need of continual metamorphoses? And if I am turning into a butterfly from the retreat out of darkness then why do my wings suddenly disappear?

In living, I have gained some recognition of middle emotions, the more subtle emotions of: satisfaction, contentment, serenity, connection, gentle-anticipation; but as these subtle emotions surface and are identified, I analyze where they have come from. I wonder which came first, my own thought, or the emotion; and often conclude my thought brought this emotion; and then I go into a place of deep thinking of when and where this thought came into existence that caused this emotion, and if this is indeed an emotion I welcome; and if this emotion comes from a place of selflessness, ego-release, and love. If the emotion/thought, both spun out together with thought in a slight lead, are not from a place of benefit for me and others, I then review why I have created these non-beneficial thoughts.

Where before for four-decades I was highly unaware of my own thoughts and emotions, and felt numb to the world, unless in a place of extreme anxiety or extreme low, now I am highly-aware of my experience, each moment analyzing and questioning my experience here, in this place I have been told isn’t really here at all. I have fed myself with so much factual data, through various sources and through moments of awakenings, that I cannot help but to try to place my own emotional/thought experience into a category.

My mind categorizes. I was built, I believe to a degree, to sort and categorize, to circumvent my emotional wiring and dig beneath and pull out what is occurring. I am a computer analyzing the computer-self. The mind boggles and I am left, wishing to do nothing but to be simple in the extreme, to wash away the complexity and start again anew and refreshed.

In an attempt to pull myself out of myself, I continually study and analyze, not just words and visual sources, but thoughts and happenings. I analyze the trees, the sky, the movement of all, even the invisible and untouchable. I analyze because I am attempting to take the moment I am set free from prison, to capture that fleeting flicker, and rise with this moment in true form of butterfly.

The dilemma is in finding myself lost in self, and reviewing the past data (Eastern philosophies of escape from mind), and then trying to understand this absence of thought, as I am built to a degree where the past ways of transcending (absence of thought; deep meditation in silence of mind) and completing the process of thought (silence and retreat after reflection) are foreign. I seem incapable of mastering my own mind enough to sit in the stillness of release. My brain appears so high-powered by some high-force that I am suited best for the prison of darkness as my retreat.

But there is hope, always hope.

And this hope is found in one way.

I have been able to at last find rescue from my own self in the act of giving of self. When I come from a place of pure intention to give without recognition or reward, I am set free. This is where the butterfly is meant to fly.

What I have been doing for so long is releasing myself from the cage and giving myself the imagined joy. I have been trying to hold onto a joy for self, and to build up self with joy, as this is what has been demonstrated by society: to make myself happy; to be happy; to find happiness. But this is not right; at least not my right, if right was to be.

I am not put here to make myself happy. I don’t need to be happy. Innately, beneath this façade of thoughts that generates a façade of emotions, I am happy. And I know this. I am not confused by self. I am confused by the thoughts and emotions, because beneath I am a spirit having a human experience. But my suit, my human suit is not adjusted, it is open enough so that the experience of human is confusing, debilitating, and disconcerting; I have spent eons, or what appears eons, trying to master my thoughts and emotions, when the freedom is not found in mastery of the invisible and illusion: mastery is found in the release of this humanness.

There is no direct way to self, as I am already self. There is no direct way to free myself of thoughts and emotions, as they do not even exist. They are not real.

Yes, I feel. Yes, I experience. But ultimately after a lifetime of analyzing my own experience, I see the illusion I have created. And though I stand in a lonely place at times, in reality, in my reality, I am finally able to grasp joy, and this joy is not fleeting. This joy does not bring out invisible scissors that eventually clip and remove my wings. I do not bleed from this joy, nor do I suffer.

I am attuning self enough to know that false joy will not last, and thusly this false, self-created, and self-wanting joy feels poisonous to me. I want to spit the falsehood out, and bring out the reinforcement of armies with swords in hand and slice away at false joy with question. I feel attacked when the questions come, when the illusion of joy is destroyed, but I am not attacking anything but illusion upon illusion. I am not attacking anything but selfish want and selfish joy.

Joy to me is only found in giving. This is my place of joy. This is how I am wired. I have been trying to live like the rest say to live, to fill myself in order to be fulfilled. But I am ultimately fulfilled when another is fulfilled. I am filled when I am able to bring joy to another. I am filled when the love I have for another is received. I am filled when I know in my deepest knowing that I am not wanting for self and self alone. There is no way around this for me. I still take comfort in the fineries of good food, decorative clothes, and good friends; these can bring me happiness. But this is not a happiness that stays. I see this. I recognize this. And thusly, my mind creates a stage of battles, where I am once again made supposed victim as the questions slice away at the supposed joy. But I am no less victim than the tree pecked by the woodpecker. I am made home for the world, for the flying birds, when I am carved out and hollowed. And in this place, when the world slips inside of me for shelter, I am joy.

And so it is my journey begins with intention. If I set out to love the world, to give of myself freely, without motive for self, then I shall receive endless abundance and joy that I can time and time again return to and tap into. This joy might waver with the wavering of my thoughts and emotions, but this joy is there always. This joy is always there. This joy is love of others, and in so loving other, love of self. There is no non-benefit to giving and loving freely. There just isn’t. When I come from a place of love, I am free. When I do not, I am imprisoned. There is no other place for me than from a place of love.

I think now that I was made the way I am to force myself into finding love. Here I have been searching to love myself, to change myself, to change my thoughts and emotions, to change my way of being, when all along the key was so very simple: love.

Here I was searching to understand love, to understand love through ownership and misinterpretation, and needing and wanting, and sometimes constant desiring, but that is not love. Love is not found in the one or in the self. Love is not found through the desire to receive. Love is not fleeting. And so often the love I have thought I have found, though unrecognizable, unidentifiable, and uncomfortable, still did not fit. No matter how hard I tried to make love fit, it did not. That is because I was searching for a suit of love for me, something to wear to soothe and protect the suffering beneath. But garments age; they tear, they break; no matter what we do they disintegrate, they become outdated, they eventually stink. The only love that can complete me must be outside the self and unattached from the self, something so immense and immeasurable that fear escapes in the infinite abundance.

I know now how to be happy.

Happiness is found in the detachment of love from self, so that love may fly freely. For it is not the butterfly I am that needs to find and wear her wings, it is the love I am that needs to soar.

309: My Wounded One

My wounded one
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you with your hands pressed against your fragile skin
Your endless wonderment less chariot than dungeon
Your blizzard mind a target for jagged daggers
Though you are fearful and doubled-down with fear
Though you are strangled, the agony rising and choking dragon from within
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you with your heart set out for all, freshly pierced and bleed out upon your sleeve
Your efforts ignored, your desires stifled, your wishes buried with the agony and trembles
Your dreams trampled, your journey unknown, the light dimming and dimming
Though the isolation suffocates and pulls you further inward
Though the ground sinks beneath trapping you in what can only be hell
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you, the streaks of your past spread across the room and painted black on each wall
Your moment passed, your joy forgotten, your answers diminished, a sunrise never set
Your sense of isolation churning and twisting, your path unknown in its familiar confusion
Though the images of the future be blurred and joy feels beyond reach
Though the exhaustion breathes alive and misery claims you as chained-companion
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you, your swollen eyes, your swollen love, your swollen wants and needs
Your sadness pouring and pounding out in waves, your veins split open and pouring hurt
Your flesh a painful reminder of who you are and who you are not
Though you are crushed and beaten, bombarded by questions and uncertainty
Though abandonment seems certain and slumber your necessary avenue of escape
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you my sibling of this strange land, captive to the unknown hauntings
Your strength burdened with heaviness, your view one of bleakness and doom
Your begging a desperation born into being, your emptiness still empty
Though you be an injurious child, nailed to what appears to be destiny
Though you be a fallen star, burned out and spread upon the masses as aged ash
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you my precious earth traveler, your shoes worn, your feet bruised
Your image I hold, as I hold the most cherished of nature’s treasures
Your journey I behold, as I behold the purifying waters of a revisited well
Though we be apart, I recognize you as my equal warrior
Though we be separate, I recognize you as my equal healer
For I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you there calling out in the whispers of your silent ache
Your beauty penetrating the deepest portion of my own existence
Your strength fueling the carved out substance of life that has surrendered
Though you feel blinded, your gift of being grants me the capacity to carry on
Though you feel unworthy, your gift of being grants me the capacity to see my light
I see you
I see you there crying alone
Your heart as my heart, your soul as my soul
Your pain as my pain, your fear as my fear
Though we be temporarily burned within the flame of all consuming mystery
Though we be masked in a disguise of imprisoned misery
I see you
I see you there crying alone

~ Samantha Craft, January 2013

Repost From Day 20. My vision of the Wounded Healer.

The Wounded Healer

“There are many types of healers. They are all brave. No healer is better or lesser than the other. One healer is called The Wounded Healer. Sometimes this may be preferred to as The Wounded Warrior, as they are like warriors, in their undying effort to overcome obstacles and serve. Before coming to this earth Wounded Healers make a soul-contract to answer the calling of a healer. Those that answer the call follow a similar pattern in life; some eventually become healers of great magnitude through various means, others partially complete the process; and still some, as hard as they try to answer the call on this plane, cannot. Still the soul-commitment of a Wounded Healer alone adds to the positive vibration of the earth and heals. And in this way there is always success. A Wounded Healer need do nothing on this planet and still contribute to the healing effect. However, The Wounded Healer that does go on to complete his task will have a huge impact on others’ pain.

Human pain is perceived as physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and psychological in combination. No pain experienced is singular. Because no pain is singular, Wounded Healers “learn” to understand various levels of pain in their own life. To a great degree, each person on earth has the potential to be a healer. In fact each person in recognizing the light in another human being automatically heals. Thoughts heal. Words heal. But The Wounded Healer varies from many others in that their life’s purpose from birth is to heal. Because of this, there will be distinct markers of a Wounded Healer.

At all times it is beneficial to remember that a Wounded Healer is no greater or lesser than anyone on this plane of existence, and seeing oneself as a Wounded Healer is not meant to elevate or lift a person. In truth a Wounded Healer will feel a great degree of conflict in reading this; not wanting to feel prideful, pleased, or increased in any measure, there will be discomfort in the physical body upon reading these words. For The Wounded Healer’s main objective, above all, is to remain humble in spirit. Without humility, the healing efforts are lessened, not decreased entirely, but depleted with feelings of judgment of self and others. One cannot judge oneself lesser or greater than another, without losing humility. One cannot heal to the greatest degree without humility. Thus, these variants are dependent upon one another; that is to say, give up self to become humble, become humble to heal. Of course, as humans, there is a degree of self-giving and self-worth that is necessary to survive. Therefore, a balance is necessary—that is to say, for The Wounded Healer there needs to be a balance of healing of others and self-love. Though most Wounded Healers, when reaching the fruit of their calling, will be naturally loved and healed through healing others in humility. And therefore, in its greatest capacity, the healing is contradictory in terms of existing as both self-serving and endowed with humility. This is a complicated matter in considering, but no less necessary to explain.

There are five distinct traits of a Wounded Healer. These traits can be used to identify a healer in yourself or others.

(1) Wounded Healers are set on a path of empathy from birth. This is referred to as the “pain-cycle.” Often over-sensitive and naïve in nature, The Wounded Healer will experience pain in all forms before reaching their final role as a Healer of Mankind. This pain will happen throughout many years of their youth, and likely into young adulthood. Some will experience strong degrees of pain for half or more of their life. When this pain-cycle is complete, differs for each healer. When they have experienced the pain intended to experience, the cycle will make a dramatic shift. This will be an obvious shift. Observers will recognize this shift, as will the individual. The shifting of the pain-cycle will feel like a rebirth. This is often predicated by a dramatic change in lifestyle or life choice. This is not to be confused of “hitting bottom” or breaking the cycle of addiction. This is the end result of years of trials and tribulations—one after the other of soul-experience of pain and human-experience of pain, until at last there is a sunrise of a new day. This will literally feel like a “dawning.” There will be no doubt that the pain-cycle has come to an end. Healers will thus still experience pain, pain does not disappear, but the cycle of learning through pain will have ceased to spin.

(2) Often, almost all of the time, the child will experience great trauma in childhood. This will be perceived at one pain-level at minimum, most commonly the psychological-level, but very often the pain comes in combination. Wounded healers choose to experience a childhood of trauma in order to obtain a higher degree of empathy. This trauma (during this current time period) can be seen in all forms of abuse, ridicule, shame, addiction, neglect, malnourishment, poverty and abandonment. In the absence of an outside force produced by others, or in combination, the pain may be self-inflicted, as in perceived ailments of the mind or body. This may take the form of disfigurement, or the inability to be considered by others as “normal.” In later life this pain-cycle may manifest itself in the form of repeated unexplained sickness. These traumas will make a mark on the child. Each mark will serve as a greater good in the years that follow. Each mark indicates a pain that will be released from another being other than the healer. This can be visualized as slashes on the skin. A Wounded Healer carries these slashes that have turned to scars. Each person they heal at a later date will cause a healer’s scar to heal. Thus it follows the more scars a child experiences, the mores pains she is destined to remove from others. But remember, the number of scars is not equated to the number of people. In the process of healing only one person, all of the healer’s scars can vanish. In this way, a Wounded Healer’s soul-purpose may be to heal only one. Whether one or millions are healed is of no difference. Healing one has as much power and magnitude as healing millions. There is no lesser or greater; this is of up most importance to remember. Therefore, a Wounded Healer may complete his contract by healing one or healing many.

(3) All Wounded Healers are called to serve since childhood. It is not uncommon for the child to know before the age of ten what they aspire to be. Whether this vocation transforms rapidly or slowly is dependent upon the pain-cycle the person is to experience. Some will arrive at the vocation at a young age, while other will change jobs many times before answering the call. Still others will slowly transition. All life experience will benefit the Healer’s vocation. In childhood, The Wounded Healer will seek out ways to help others. Oversensitive, they will feel drawn to saving, nursing, rescuing, and easing discomfort. They will notice the wonders of nature that others often overlook. They will cry if a creature is hurt. They will cry if a person is hurt. At one point, in an attempt to survive, they will learn to stop crying as much, and this can cause much inner turmoil. These children will seem wise beyond their years. They will have the strong need to serve the greater good. They will often feel like failures and not good enough. This will be mistaken for low self- esteem. This is not so. These souls have a strong, if not all encompassing need to serve and heal, and when they cannot do so they feel suffocated, inadequate, weak, and not good enough. They might be mistaken by others as depressed, failures, dreamers, or perfectionists. Emotions may be out of control.

4) All wounded healers are empathic and also considered Empathic Healers. The Empathic Healers carry empathic traits, but do not necessarily carry all the traits of a Wounded Healer. The Wounded Healer includes the qualities of an Empathic Healer. However, an Empathic Healer may or may not have the traits of the Wounded Healer, such as: traumatic childhood and pain-cycle. In distinguishing the two, there is no urgency or necessity. But for clarity we point out the difference. Traits of an Empathic Healer include the ability to read the emotional energy field outside of a person. This can or cannot be seen. Usually the energy is felt more than seen. But seeing can be developed with focused practice and attention. Empathics have the ability to pick up on others’ emotional state. They may feel “depleted” in energy around other people, especially in crowds. This is a falsehood to consider the experience a “depletion.” This interpretation implies that there is not enough energy left in the person, and that something has been removed, taken, leaked, or escaped. There is no depletion of energy that is possible. What is happening is the person is taking the others’ energy and reworking the energy so to say, and then returning the energy cleansed to the others. This is like a doctor removing a sample of blood, cleaning the blood, and returning the blood. Only the Empathic Healer is the doctor, the tube holding the blood, and the source of healing. Thus the Empathic Healer is left feeling tired from the process. There is no danger in this except the feeling of exhaustion and the possible susceptibility to taking on another’s pain instead of cleansing the pain. Each Empathic Healer will have to learn how to protect themselves from exhaustion and the transfer of pain. The key is to recognize ultimately there is no pain, and thus, what is really happening is an energy transfer, a giving of one to heal another at a soul-level. This “healing” is complicated, but it is suffice to say the one must recognize the other for the earth to heal, although, even this is very much not the true and ultimate meaning.

5) All wounded healers are repeatedly humbled. This begins in childhood and does not stop for the course of a lifetime. For in order to heal to the greatest degree, as mentioned before, the person must practice and live in humility. Each will do so in various degrees. The greatest healers and shifters of mankind will be the most humble. We need not look far to see who these souls were that existed to transform this world. Not all souls who are Wounded Healers will retreat to the greatest of humility, there will be varying degrees based on culture and the necessity to affect change. How others perceive the healer is still important. Societal rules and regulations, and the status of a person, can all affect the perceived skill of the healer. Therefore, each Healer will have different degrees of humility. Not all seekers will feel comfortable with a half naked man with no teeth. Therefore, Healers are colored in all patterns, and dressed in robes that will attract those needed to fulfill their highest good. This may mean no robe, a tattered robe, a designer robe, or a robe of gold; what matters is not the robe the healer wears but what he houses beneath. A Wounded Healer will heal. This is a matter of practicality. There is no way she cannot.

Wounded since childhood, and sometimes before entering this plane, the soul of The Wounded Healer will seek out help from an early age. They will attempt to remove the pain in many methods. Many of the methods will lead to further humility. Sources such as strict religion, addictive relationships, drugs, alcohol, gambling, overwork, and the like will often accompany the Wounded Healer in his journey through the pain-cycle. Many will seek help through doctors, psychics, energy-healers, therapists, clergy, and counselors, and in this way continue to be humbled. Others may succumb to mental collapse or physical breakdown. Again, they will be stripped to the bare bone. Some will experience great pain through loss and affliction repeatedly, which end results leads to humility. The pain-cycle will continue. When the fruitful time has arrived, The Wounded Healer will break free from the pain-cycle. This is different for each person. If one were to know when the pain would end, this would be no different then knowing the age of death. On knowing the age of death all life is unavoidably lived and experienced differently. Therefore The Wounded Healer has made an agreement to not know when the pain-cycle will end, in order not to affect change or the end result.

Even as the pain-cycle ends, pain remains to a degree. Humility remains, as does the ability to see in others what is in thy own self. Humility then becomes a coat of armor and a friend. A blessed companion we thank the heavens for creating. For in this grand humility we find the comfort of knowing what has come before has served to heal.

In evaluating a Wounded Healer it is best not to use logic but instead to rely on instinct and feeling. A healer of such magnitude, who carries the armor of humility and the pain of many scars, will be notable to you on many levels. First, and foremost, they will carry with them a peace and inner light so that you will have a tendency to feel that you “know” the person or want to know them. You will be attracted to The Wounded Healer and not necessarily know why. This of course is after the completion of the pain-cycle—before this you might actually be propelled away or want to escape. But we speak of the end of the pain-cycle, when the cloak of humility, grace and service is evident. In this time seek you signs of a welcomed presence. This Healer will seem wise beyond his years, will gravitate towards serving others for the sake of healing alone, and will often be serious-minded and unable to easily let go and relax. Overall, in considering The Wounded Healer it is important to remember their coat of humility. For whatever they may say or do, or seem to say or do through your perception, their ultimate goal is healing.” ~ Sam

(No editing was applied to this prose. This all came out in one quick sitting.)

If you be a wounded healer, I recognize you, I see you, I hear you weeping, and I love you. Wishing you love and light and the strength to carry on. With deep compassion and love. ~ Sam

300: Aspergers: The Stuff That Ain’t Working

1. Exposure Therapy:

For years and years I thought if I just socialized more, if I just connected more, and tried harder to be like everyone else, my endurance level for social gatherings would improve and my anxiety levels would decrease. I believed that through repeated exposure that things would get better. That hasn’t happened.

I don’t have a fear and/or phobia to any one thing or event; therefore there is nothing I can focus on overcoming or having less fear about. My anxiety isn’t caused by anything I can pinpoint. My anxiety is caused by the way I process the stimuli in my environment and the way I respond to my surroundings. I am hyper-aware and my senses are turned up to the highest degree. I am also, despite self-training and studies, unsure of how to act in a social gathering, (e.g, how much to share, when to share, when to stop, when to respond, how to stand, how to look, when to be less honest, etc.); and as a result of my uncertainty, I have a constant inner voice reminding me of how to be. A voice that also self-corrects continually.

I need and long for structure and routine. My fear can be reduced if the same events happen in a similar way. However, inevitably changes occur. To say I will get better with practice or exposure is not an accurate statement. First of all, I am not wrong or in need of improvement. I am uniquely wired. One would not tell a person with a visual impairment that if she kept staring at a picture on the wall the image would become clearer, and one would not tell a person with a hearing impairment to repeatedly listen to a song on high-volume to improve his or her hearing. In the same line of thinking, one cannot tell me to continue going outside of my comfort-zone, to eventually gain a sense of security. I do not have the physical capacity. This is not biologically possible for me.

2. Positive Self-Talk/Cognitive Therapy:

While Aspergers can, and often does, have the comorbid conditions of generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and depression, Aspergers is not the sum of its parts. A person cannot be treated for the comorbid conditions and then grow out of Aspergers. If anyone says they outgrew Aspergers or cured themselves, I don’t believe they had ASD to begin with. Unless they’ve feasibly learned how to reprogram their brain.

I do not think there is a way to change my brain. And as hard as my life can be at times, I don’t like the idea of my brain changing. Aspergers is not a mental illness. The “disorder” of Aspergers is believed to occur in the frontal lobe of the brain. Why and how the condition develops is still largely unknown. Though there seems to be a large genetic factor.

While positive self-talk has many benefits and can decrease episodes of anxiety and depression, and perhaps even diminish some OCD tendencies, it does little to help with the condition of Aspergers itself. No matter how much self-talk I give myself, I still respond in a fight or flight response pattern, when I am in a public place or at a public gathering. I do not want to feel this way, and do not choose to feel this way, but this is the way I feel.

Self-talk and cognitive behavior techniques can sometimes do me more harm than good. When I am panicking, no matter how many times I incorporate positive self-talk or implement cognitive behavioral techniques, (e.g., replace negative belief that is a falsehood with a true reality-based belief), my body continues to respond as if I am in danger. When I do in fact implement the self-talk, in an attempt to do the “right” thing or to “fix” myself, I then feel guilty when the technique does not work. I then question why I was not capable of applying such a simple concept to my own way of thinking.

No amount of practice, hard work, or scouring through books has increased the effectiveness of cognitive-based therapy techniques for me. And the more I use them, and fail, the more I feel as if I am wired in a way that is wrong.

What does help me is letting go and realizing that the panic is something I have to go through, and realizing that when I am on the other side I will be okay. And that there is nothing wrong with what I am doing or going through. It is just the way I am. So in a way I am using positive talk, but not in the traditional sense. I am not finding a false statement or belief that needs change and fixing it. Instead I am self-soothing and reminding myself I will be okay regardless of how I feel at the moment.

I use my thoughts as more of a security blanket. The best thing for me to do in times of anxiety is not to retrain my brain to talk better to me, but to retrain me to treat my brain better. The key being letting go and acceptance.

3. Thinking if I am more self-aware I will be able to control my thoughts and/or anxiety:

I can’t control myself sometimes. I thought if I read enough and studied enough that I could reprogram who I am at a core level. To a degree, spiritually and perhaps energetically, and maybe even genetically, I might be able to alter myself, depending on what doctrine I deem to hold some semblance of truth, but overall I cannot change this elemental core of Aspergers; and if I feasibly can, the answer repeatedly stealthily eludes me.

I have tried every way imaginable to knock some sense into me when I go into a mode of shutdown, and there is nothing I can do, beyond pushing through the uncomfortable emotions.

When my anxiety is high, I become immobile. I cannot do simple tasks. I become extremely fatigued and unable to think in a linear fashion. I become trapped in a cycle or loop of thought. I can step back and see myself doing this. And the odd part is, I know what tools to implement that should supposedly pull myself out, but I also know they won’t work on me. I have tried. Nothing works to stop the anxiety when it is in full swing. It is like I have to go through the tunnel of darkness to come out cleansed and regenerated at the other end.

Days filled with too much sensory overload lead to days of shutdown. During this time life seems bleak and not worth living; however, it does not feel hopeless. I feel fed up more than anything, and exhausted by thought and life. My good hours are usually from when I wake up until mid-day. By mid-afternoon, I often become overwhelmed. This is when I can do little more than sit on the couch. I cannot listen to someone talk for long. It is like I am a computer and all my memory has been filled up. There is no more room left for input.

I have thought to scribe a list to remind myself during the high-anxiety, shut down times of what I need to do to feel better. However, when I am in shutdown, I know that no list of any sort will help. It doesn’t matter that I know why I am overwhelmed and exhausted. My brain is in lockdown. I am protecting myself from short circuiting. The last thing I need is logic or steps to follow. This cognitive reasoning only leads me into further shutdown and retreat, further bombarded by the outside. The only method that works for me is releasing control and letting myself go through the emotional process. If I do not let myself retreat, I will likely have a meltdown, in where I shout and cry. I need time to decompress and be alone. Time to process and discard of my abundance of emotions and thoughts.

4. Thinking that by knowing I have Aspergers I will be more likely able to change myself.:

With self-recognition of Aspergers my behaviors have shifted, but I haven’t changed. Before I didn’t understand my emotions. Before a major event, like a party at our house, when I didn’t know I had Aspergers, I would get extremely controlling and high-strung. I would order my husband around and start arguments. I would create chaos so I could release the tremendous fear building up inside of me. I didn’t know the fear was from thoughts of the upcoming events. My husband would often ask me why I was so angry and touchy before a party. I didn’t know. I thought I was a controlling person and needed everything to go my way to be happy. The problem was I knew innately I didn’t want to be a controlling person and I was never happy, regardless.

It wasn’t until I realized I had Aspergers that my behavior changed. Now, before an event, I no longer subconsciously create drama so I can release emotion. I didn’t consciously decide to change this; the change happened naturally with the discovery of my Aspergers. Now, I am hyper-aware of why I am upset. I recognize my emotions in detail and the triggers that set me into a state of anxiety. It might seem that knowing myself more would make the anxiety level decrease, but actually the anxiety is more intensified, because I am no longer subconsciously utilizing displacement. I am not displacing my own dread about an event into another event. I am not using or finding a scapegoat. I am not creating drama in order to diffuse my own tension. Instead tension keeps building and I have no way to release it.

Now that I am more aware of my own behavior and emotions, and the triggers, I do much more stimming, e.g., I flick my nails, flap my hands, clear my throat, click my teeth, and so forth. I also have anxiety dreams related to a planned event. And the day of the event, I have extreme fluctuations of emotions, and sometimes physical symptoms such as hives and/or stomach aches. I am now taking in the full of the experience and my body is responding. I don’t know if this is better or worse than the displacement. What is also happening is instead of “freaking out” before an event, I am often “freaking out” after the event. I feel very much like a child who holds herself together for the better part of the day, only to go home and have a meltdown.

I have found, to date, the best way to handle my anxiety is to not turn it into the enemy, or something to be eradicated and ejected, but something to be accepted. The more I fight the anxiety, the worse I feel, for there isn’t any avenue that saves me or leads to rescue. I have to go through the discomfort in order to feel relief. The process is similar to a minor panic attack or adrenaline rush, but it passes, and the more accepting I am of the process the quicker it passes. I’ve noticed the same with my dog’s epileptic seizures. They used to last up to twenty-minutes; now when they begin I hold her and release my own fear. I accept she will go through the seizure and be okay. I send this feeling of acceptance to her, and do not fight her seizures. I then let her go, or hold her less closely, and ignore her in a compassionate way, as if telling her: This is not a big deal. Don’t give it power, and it will pass. Since incorporating this method, my dog’s seizures have decreased drastically in length, generally only five minutes, and sometimes less than a minute. My own anxiety is like a my dog’s seizure; if I just let go and trust it will be okay, it passes much quicker.

5. Believing that by making plans I will feel more structured and therefore I will experience less anxiety:

Sometimes lists help me; especially if there are no deadlines on the list. I like to make lists of chores or errands, and to cross out items as they are accomplished. I also like to rewrite new lists and to see how much the to-do items have diminished. Lists are my friends. Appointments on the calendar are not my friends.

I remember my father would always tell me a similar thing. I would ask him if we could get together on such-and-such day, and he would typically respond that he couldn’t tell me yet, and that deciding at that moment didn’t feel comfortable to him. He did better with last-minute plans. I didn’t understand at the time why my father acted this way. I felt cheated out of his life and not important enough to plan for. But today I understand my father more. He didn’t want to make plans because he didn’t want the stress of worrying about an upcoming event. I am the same way. I have been my whole life.

To me, the best days are days nothing is on the calendar. Even one appointment or obligation can make me anxious for hours beforehand, sometimes even days beforehand. The thought of having to pick up my son up from school each afternoon causes me stress. I leave at a set time daily, and the trip is short, easy, and non-eventful, but the stress does not dissipate.

Usually two hours before a scheduled event, I start to become very preoccupied with the time and the steps I will have to take to leave the house. Simple tasks, like showering or getting dressed, feel overwhelming. I can spend several minutes, processing and reprocessing the pros and cons of showering. I can create in my mind a half-dozen scenarios of what sequence I should follow in preparation for my departure. Even before I’ve started the process of getting ready, I am often mentally exhausted.

When I see an event on the calendar, I have a small panicky feeling inside, as I realize that soon in preparation for an event, I will experience something similar to post-traumatic-stress-syndrome.

This seems contradictory in nature to me: the fact that I do well knowing what to expect and with routine but at the same time I dread plans on the calendar. I look forward to well-structured days indoors at home. However, the repeated isolation and lack of adult company can lead to depression and feelings of isolation, loneliness, and inadequacy.

There is a continual pendulum of want inside of me. On one side there is the longing for company and stimulation outside the home, on the other side there is the longing to hibernate and not have to experience the anxiety involved in going out. This pendulum moves back and forth. If I am not careful, I can self-punish myself by wishing I was different and more normal. I am in a constant state of fluctuation, never centered, and always wanting.

6. Believing if I can just let go of Aspergers and get on with my life, I’ll be fine.

I joke with myself sometimes. I think if I write enough and share enough, I will process the Aspergers right out of me. Some silly part of me believes I’ll wake up and be cured of Aspergers, and if not cured, so much better able to function. The truth is I don’t need to be cured. I am not sick, or ill, or broken. I have been born with a brain that is different from the general population. If society was different, I would be responding differently. But society isn’t different.

I have tried over and over to change myself, to try to fit in, and to try to function, but the more I try, the more I find myself battling the same resistance. What I have found that works is contact with other people who understand me. I feel safe with most people with Aspergers, and to a degree safe with people who would classify themselves as a bit “quirky” or “shy.” I fit nicely with the odd balls and misfits.

I don’t need to let go of Aspergers, I need to let go of isolation and thinking there is something wrong with me to begin with. The more lovely souls I meet with brains wired like mine, the more I learn to appreciate my uniqueness and beauty, and the more I recognize the depth of my own intelligence and empathy.

I was created differently, but different is not wrong, and need not be terrible. With the right balance of release and acceptance, and with the right connection with like-souls, I am learning to navigate myself in this world. Where I used to believe I was dropped down on the wrong planet, I now believe that I am right where I am supposed to be.

Day 204: F*** the Dark Voice

F*** the Dark Voice

I’m sick of your taunting, as if you are right, as if you even know

You are slime, like at the bottom of my fish tank, only more fouler, like the smell of the runs

You linger there, in your toilet bowl of scummy mess and await me like the monster Grendel

I do not like you, not one bit, and would hate you, if you were even hate-able

But you’re not, not worth the hate

I wouldn’t decorate you with the compliment

You foul creature I despise

If I could pick you apart, I would start at your heart, or where your heart should be

But you only have a shadowed center, a phantom form, something I cannot touch

That no one can reach

You hide in not existing

You hide in not being there

But yet you taunt louder than a thousand soldiers stomping across enemies’ graves

You don’t even know me

But I think you do

You can’t even see me

But I think you can

You are such a mystery, that if I could admire the maggots crawling out of my rotting dog’s flesh, then I’d admire you

In the way I look at fungus on the skin, or in the way I feel my heart skip a beat

I would admire you with fear and disgust

And that is what you wish

That is what you ingest

Complete fear and disgust

You long for me to take my own self apart, piece by piece

To fear my own body, my own form

Because you are jealous in your non-existence

If you could extinguish me, you can then live

But I laugh at you, you creeping ghost of dark

For I am light, and I shall burn you to a crisp

Take you out before your spindly tentacles reach me

And I shall shine upon your evil breath

The way the scope of knowledge shines against the tainted rulers of masses

And we together shall rise and wash you out

No matter you are invisible and dark

No matter you are unreachable

We shall find you in our souls and bleed you out

And feed you to the tigers of fish

So they can nibble upon you and fertilize the world with your drought

Be gone great master of trickery and ghastly thoughts

Be gone all of your ways that torment this being

For I am no longer alone

And my light multiplied shall corrupt your plans

And leave you helpless, spineless and begging for mercy

And then, in our light, we will scoop you up

Babe in arms, and examine your sweetness, your words, your outcry

And find ourselves staring back with the tender longing for love

~~~~

Samantha Craft, August 2012

Day 157: The Demons at the Door

The Demons at the Door

The phone rang: one old pale orange phone with a curled orange cord that hung on the light blue wall.

A heavyset woman with a short-shaved haircut picked up.  She looked like my mother’s long ago roommate, the heavy-boned woman who taught me how to shower; the one I’d once tried to forget.  The one that reminded me of plums—how they can be split open with bare hands and the insides all sucked out.

“Stew, it’s for you!” The stranger hollered across the lobby.  Her eyes scanned the room like a mother surveying the clutter on a table. She hadn’t wanted to truly look, but she did nonetheless. “Anybody seen Stew?”  She scanned again while yawning, and then spoke.   “Can’t find him. Try again later.”

The rest of this story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com

Song to go with found here.